McDonald’s Japan apologises after tooth, plastic found in food

2015-01-07 13:12

McDonald’s Japan has apologised to customers and vowed to ensure product safety after objects including a tooth and plastic were found recently in its food.

The chain, 49.9%-owned by McDonald’s Corp, has been grappling with falling sales that began long before a food safety scandal last summer hit confidence in its products.

Convenience stores in particular have drawn away customers with broader ranges of ready-made meals and low-priced coffee.

McDonald’s Japan brought in chief executive Sarah Casanova last March to reverse the trend, but the company is still on track to record its sixth straight year of sales declines and its first annual loss in 11 years.

Today’s apology came after a diner found a roughly 4cm strip of vinyl in a Chicken McNugget on the weekend.

That prompted the chain to halt sales of nuggets made on the same day as the contaminated item at a plant in Thailand. The company is still investigating the cause.

Among other incidents, a human tooth was found in a customer’s French fry in August, while a child in December cut his mouth on a piece of plastic that was in a chocolate sundae.

At a packed news conference, executives sought to reassure the public of the safety of McDonald’s food.

“I am confident that my family can eat McDonald’s products,” said Takehiko Aoki, senior vice-president at McDonald’s Holding Co (Japan).

“I think our response has been appropriate,” he said when questioned on whether the company had been slow to announce its findings, explaining that the handling of each case is different.

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